Can anybody help a n00b with parts needed (and best brands) for a brake job?

Messages
1
Hi all,

I've done lots of other beginner- and intermediate-skill jobs on my vehicles before, but I've never done brakes.

My 2008 GMC Canyon SL has 125K and is using all original brake components. I assume it is time for a total brake job, although I've had little in the way of braking problems (only some noise when first braking in the morning, but that might be normal).

What brake components should I be purchasing and replacing and what brand(s) do you all recommend?

I think I need at least new front rotors and pads as well as rear shoes and drums, but what else?

And what brand(s) do you all recommend? I usually buy GM OE or ACDelco for the truck, but the reviews for some of these parts (rotors and drums in particular) are not very good and apparently are NOT equivalent to the OE parts from 2008 - I'm guessing because production shifted to China and the production was cheapened. Is there an aftermarket brand that is better quality for a similar price? It would be great if the replacement parts lasted as long as the originals!

Thanks for reading!
 
Messages
824
Location
NC
Rotors and pads all around. Change the hardware too. If your ABS is not working properly might check speed sensors while you have the rotors off. If you plan on keeping the truck for a long while then get OEM, if not check out the listings on Rock Auto and select the grade you can be comfortable with. Plan on a brake fluid flush while you have the wheels off if it has not been changed in twelve years.

I just got rear rotors, pads and hardware for my '14 Mitsubishi Outlander and opted for the middle of the road parts. They're Chinese made of course but they'll be fine. Brakes are not difficult but take your time and do it right. Your life might depend on it. 🚀
 
Messages
5,322
Location
Ohio
Go with any well-known brake brand (Wagner, Raybestos, Centric, etc) and get their PREMIUM grade components. I'm sure that even the auto-parts store brands are quite good nowadays as well - just stick with their premium or top-grade there too.
 
Messages
1,712
Location
VA
Hold onto your original hardware if it's in good shape. On the last two pad replacements I did, the factory clips were sturdier than what came in the kit, so I reused them. I did use the new bushings and boots. One kit was AC Delco and the other was Carlson brand from Rockauto. I imagine the new drum hardware might be more robust.

Especially on the rear, take a picture of the setup before you take it apart. There are some brake hardware tools that make the job a little easier, but they probably aren't essential for a one-time job. Check the rear wheel cylinders for evidence of leaks. Honing and rebuilding cylinders used to be a fairly common practice. I don't know if kits are easy to find anymore, but you can get replacement wheel cylinders.
 
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18
as stated above , if you have time to order parts , rock auto is a very good source , and economical , i would pull up some utube videos and gather a little data as far as to go about the job or for info on a brake inspection to see what parts you need , and also agree , to have a person around that knows brakes to somewhat oversee the process, to us that know brakes , a brake job isnt a big deal , for some one that doesnt know about brakes , or general assembly processes , it may not go well , and could be dangerous , not trying to deterr you , and always nice to learn
 
Messages
11,698
Location
USA
Welcome to BITOG :)

Rock Auto is a great site. I can vouch for Powerstop and Wagner coated rotors.

If your truck is just a car to you, and you just want something for a daily driver, Akebono pads are the best. Another good option is EBC Ultimax, but Rock Auto doesn't sell them. If you actually use your truck as a truck, you might want to consider truck pads such as Hawk LTS or EBC Greenstuff.

For the rear brake shoes, get the pre-assembled Bendix kit. It comes pre-assembled so you don't have to worry about dealing with those scary springs. Pair then with Wagner or Powerstop coated drums.

You should also bleed the brake fluid. Speed bleeders are awesome and make the job very easy.
 
Messages
296
Location
Pennsylvania
That truck has captive front brake rotors and there is a special tool that is needed for the springs on the rear drum brakes. The wheel bearing/hub ass'ys have to come out to replace the rotors. Given age and from personal experience I would plan on replacing the hub & bearing ass'ys. If you have never done brake work before this is one of the harder vehicles out there and you may want to rethink it
 
Messages
17
Personally I stopped using ceramic pads years ago. I’ve had a lot of pad transfer issues with them causing pulsation.
I”ve been using semi-metallic pads and will say these always have a firmer pedal and fade less. Some trace squeak at low speeds really doesn’t bother me because the semi-mets haul my 2 ton car to a halt like no other pads I’ve tried.
Rock Auto has nearly every pad you can think of. I usually purchase Centric brand, they work well. Don’t be fooled by price; Semi metallic pads are usually much cheaper than ceramic but for me they work better.
 
Messages
103
Location
Edson, Alberta
You'll generally never see the service that oem gave you. When doing the summer tire change over I hose all the salt sand off the brakes and wheel wells. I also service the slider pins every few years. MY taste runs to Hawk pads and EBC rotors.
 
Messages
2,217
Location
socal
I used to own a 2008 Canyon. I did new rotors, pads and hardware only. I believed I went w Powerstop and they performed fine. And the price is reasonable. I have used most major brands as well on other vehicles and there were no issues. Just remove the old, clean everything up w brake cleaner, install new ( I use Sylglide brake lube where required), bed-in per manufacturer procedure, and you’re good to go.
 
Messages
2,584
Location
wv
"I assume it is time for a total brake job"

The best way to learn how to do brakes is to do an inspection first.

Pull everything down and inspect before you start adding to cart.

This forum is very friendly, take pictures of your pads, rotors, drums and shoes.. and go from there.

If you cant pull everything down for an inspection, its not going to be a DIY project for you.
 
Messages
845
Location
sw ohio
Personally I stopped using ceramic pads years ago. I’ve had a lot of pad transfer issues with them causing pulsation.
I”ve been using semi-metallic pads and will say these always have a firmer pedal and fade less. Some trace squeak at low speeds really doesn’t bother me because the semi-mets haul my 2 ton car to a halt like no other pads I’ve tried.
Rock Auto has nearly every pad you can think of. I usually purchase Centric brand, they work well. Don’t be fooled by price; Semi metallic pads are usually much cheaper than ceramic but for me they work better.
Exactly true for the ceramic pads. I'll never use "ceramic" again for that reason-worst pads ever for pulsation in my experience and opinion. YMMV as they say.
 
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